Sleep Awareness and Health


The importance of  Sleep
to health, cognition and longevity

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Sleep & Sleep Disorders Series

Sleep and Sleep Disorders

A quick gander at June’s Awareness Calendar tells you that the  first week in June is Sleep Disorders Awareness Week.

I have already written a great deal about sleep and sleep disorders, but I couldn’t let the month pass without adding an Awareness post to that Series.

According NSART, the National Sleep Awareness Roundtable, promoting the awareness of the importance of sleep is an extremely worthwhile endeavor.

About SLEEP

NOT the passive state once believed, sleep is a highly active state essential for both physical health and BRAIN health.

Although we all do it, few of us know very much about it – and fewer still make sure we get enough of it to drive our brains and bodies effectively, limping along with chronic sleep debt.

Many of us would LOVE to get more sleep, but struggle falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping in sync with norms that allow us to coordinate with the timing demands of our chronically busy 21st Century lives.

NIH, the National Institutes of Health estimates that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans alone, common in both men and women and people of all ethnic groups.

According to the authors of the website Talk About Sleep:

“At least 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders each year, and an additional 20 million experience occasional sleeping problems.

These disorders and the resulting sleep deprivation interfere with work, driving, and social activities.

They also account for an estimated $16 BILLION in medical costs each year, while the indirect costs due to lost productivity and other factors are probably much greater.”

They go on to say that “the most common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy,” which is an indication of how LITTLE research has been done on the chronorhythm disorders – disorders of sleep timing.

But you don’t have to have a diagnostic sleep disorder of any kind to experience the negative effects of sleep debt. In fact, most of us in industrialized societies are chronically under-slept, which means that most of us have racked up sleep debt to a significant degree

Insufficient Sleep is a BIG Problem

The cumulative effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders represent a significantly under-recognized public health concern.

It is associated with a wide range of long-range health problems – all of which represent long-term targets of public health agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):

  • hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure)
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • depression
  • heart attack
  • stroke, and
  • impulsive, at-risk behaviors

In 2008, an organization called Healthy People 2020 met to begin the process of determining 10-year national objectives for promoting health and preventing disease.

They ultimately targeted four main objectives:

  1. Increase the proportion of persons with symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea who seek medical evaluation (only ONE of two types of sleep apnea, btw)
  2. Reduce the rate of vehicular crashes per 100 million miles traveled that are due to drowsy driving
  3. Increase the proportion of students in grades 9 through 12 who get sufficient sleep
  4. Increase the proportion of adults who get sufficient sleep

And it all begins with awareness.

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Not as individual as we like to think

While sleep needs certainly differ from person to person (and even in the same person in various circumstances), there are statistical averages that give us a place to begin.

NSF, The National Sleep Foundation, an independent nonprofit association, gives us a nifty little chart detailing the recommended sleep needs associated with various stages of life (see more by enlarging the chart on the NSF site).

Even if you decide to attempt to abide by their statistical guidelines, by the way, you can’t simply pick and choose a target number.

Your body does that FOR you — and you might notice that you function much better with even more.

Latest Recommendations:

Adults (26-64) — 7-9 hours (new age range)
Younger adults (18-25) —  7-9 hours (new category)
Older adults (65+)  — 7-8 hours (new category)
Teens (14-17 years) — 8-10 hours (Sleep range widened from 8.5-9.5 hours)
School Age Children (6-13 years) — 9-11 hours (Sleep range widened from 10-11)
Preschoolers (3-5 years) — 10-13 hours (Sleep range widened from 11-13)
Toddlers (1-2 years) — 11-14 hours (Sleep range widened from 12-14)
Infants (4-11 months) — 12-15 hours (new age range, sleep range widened from 14-15)
Newborns (0-3 months) — 14-17 hours (new age range, sleep range narrowed from 12-18)

The range simply allows you to estimate your individual basal sleep need – the amount of sleep your body wants you to get every single night – which is believed to allow you to remain well-rested throughout your entire life and reap the health and functioning benefits.

It also allows you to calculate an approximation of your sleep debt.

If you stay up late one night — blogging, for example? — unless you are able to sleep additional hours on the following day, your attention span and energy reserves may suffer for several days subsequently.

Other problems we now KNOW will occur when you’re under-slept:

Circadian dips (natural lapses in alertness), and episodes of drowsiness that send you rushing off to the coffee maker, will become much more frequent and noticeable – and more difficult to push through effectively.

Your distractibility will increase as well, since your short-term memory will also be negatively affected.  Not only does it seems that the brain can’t function effectively unless it gets the down-time it needs, sleep seems to be essential for the consolidation of of daily experience into long-term memory storage.

Worse still, sleep is the time when your brain takes out the garbage.  If you don’t give it sufficient time to do its neural housekeeping, you are opening yourself to health problems you won’t be able to “fix” with a couple of cups of java.

Worst of all is that chronic sleep debt increases the danger of knocking your healthy sleep patterns for a loop – making sleep more difficult to come by for the rest of your life, and increasing the risk of developing one of the many bona-fide sleep disorders!

Can you make up for lost sleep?

While it’s possible to compensate for an occasional late night by going to bed earlier or sleeping later the following day, it seems that lost sleep cannot always be recovered — and sleep debt is cumulative.

According to Dr. Raghu Reddy, a sleep medicine specialist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Director, UAMS Sleep Clinic, “You can make up for lost sleep on another day,” but “the amount of sleep lost and recovered may not be the same. Most of the first few hours of sleep can be recovered, but if the [total] amount of sleep lost is more than a few hours, not all of it will be recovered.

Related Video: Raghu Reddy, M.D. — Introduction: The Science of Sleep 

BOTTOM LINE: Don’t be a Sleep Ninny! 

  1. Figure out how much sleep you need
  2. Translate that into an effective sleep/wake schedule you can stabilize
    seven days a week,
  3. Determine your optimal bed time
  4. and GO TO BED!

Read: You don’t wanna’ have to pay the interest on sleep debt

Got a few more minutes to spare?

Check out an interesting TED Talk from neuroscientist and sleep expert Russell Foster.  I shared this in an earlier sleep article, but it’s worth sharing again, since many of you are new here.

Foster’s talk covers a ton of information briefly and in an extremely entertaining fashion – including debunking a few myths about sleep and mental health that were formerly sacred cows.

WELL worth your time.

 

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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

84 Responses to Sleep Awareness and Health

  1. Pingback: EF Management Tips and Tricks | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. Pingback: Everything you ever wanted to know about SLEEP | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  3. Pingback: PTSD Awareness Post 2017 – Part II | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  4. The numbers are amazing.
    Oh this modern day living is the main cause for this sleeplessness. All the energy gets consumed. So I think there must be a need of some energy to sleep and that is also exhausted. Maybe that’s the reason.
    Madelyn making such subjects interesting to read is also a creative act, which also consumes energy.😃
    Shiva 🎶

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very astute, Shiva (no surprise there!) Everything we do when we are awake accumulates – and it takes down time and sleep to give our brain “processing time” (memory consolidation, arranging the new stuff around the old & taking out the garbage – lol)

      I hope all is blessed with you – and it is SO nice to see you here again. Thank you for visiting, and for letting me know that you did.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  5. E says:

    How do you condense all the files shuffling in your head?! Wow. Your site is action packed with information. I look forward to exploring it. As for sleep I have the rest needs of a pre-schooler but don’t get it. I was researching the link between trauma and exhaustion this past week having just recovered from adrenal fatigue. I’m inclined to believe this new hip diagnosis is merely a symptom of our current culture which sort of demands we keep going when most of, globally, actually require a lot more time to recharge our batteries and catch up with the speed of experiences. Instead we’re doing, producing, consuming leaving little time from processing, daydreaming and integration. Thanks for contributing to my thought pile. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank YOU for letting me know that what I write is helpful – that keeps me going. 🙂

      From only two comments today it seems pretty clear that you are an unusually good self-observer – and have a good handle on somatization (your brain affecting your body with “symptoms”).

      Happy to hear that you have been researching trauma and exhaustion – as you now know they like to hang together. You DO need more sleep and “down-time” to give your brain time to heal itself (than others, probably, but certainly more than your “usual”). Trauma injures the brain – even if no “hit to the head” was actually involved.

      Are you able to DO what you know? (Most of us struggle a bit with that one, btw – me too)

      As for your first question – I can’t “condense” – I offload. I’ve learned that the process of writing actually “forces” my brain to slow down to the point where I can manage all that I think and feel “all at once” otherwise. I enjoy the writing process and I love helping so, for me, it is the perfect solution.

      Thanks again for being such an engaged reader.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Friday Fun: More about SLEEP | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  7. I’m so excited to have figured out how to navigate to your posts! (Looks like I don’t follow directions as well as the rest of your followers, as you support a very engaged community)

    Thanks for sharing this well researched article on sleep disorders Madelyn. I endured chronic sleep deprivation as a surgeon for decades. Now that I’m retired, I treat sleep as an essential element of a healthy diet. MDD and PTSD make it difficult for me to maintain a regular sleep schedule, but as you highlighted above, it’s worth making it a priority to keep sleep debt to a minimum.
    So happy to be following you Madelyn!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Welcome, Gabe! My site is not NEARLY as amusing as yours (tho’ I do try to ‘lighten’ the info when I can, and post “funnies” when things get dull over here -lol). I’m tickled to read that you found it worthwhile.

      I LOVE the fact that many of my readers take time from their lives to engage in the comments (the best part of blogging for me). It took a few years, but I guess the fact that I’m chatty and truly appreciate longer comments encouraged a few folks to risk self-disclosing, and now many do. I think they realize that it’s a safe space, thanks to Akismet, and my followers are AMAZINGLY supportive. I’m still waiting for the “cross-talk” – which I would actively encourage – but I do see their avatars and comments on the blogs of others who comment here.

      I somehow missed the fact that you are/were a surgeon – but then I’m new to your site and have a lot of catching up to do. The fact that you mention PTSD makes me wonder if you were a military doc. My uncle was a surgeon stationed in Viet Nam, so I have more than a bit of empathy – his stories were heart-breakingly funny – MASH-like.

      I did catch “Depression doesn’t define me” on your site. Nobody who reads your posts would suspect you ever had a down moment – great coping strategy! I’ve had my battles there as well, but have yet to take it on in depth here. It’s on a very long list of candidates for a new Series.

      So sorry to read that your sleep is disturbed by PTSD. I have personal experienced with that one (gang-mugging), and it was several years before I could sleep at all when it was dark out, which really threw my chronos for a loop – mostly behind me, thank you God!

      Thanks again for popping over. Shortly after midnight tonight will be another Friday Fun about sleep (where I linked your Bear article.) I think my sense of humor is about the only thing that keeps me sane – and I’m guessing I’m not alone in that one.
      xx,
      mgh
      READERS: If you are not already following Gabe, go check out his highly unusual site. He’s a HOOT!

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re correct on almost all counts Madelyn. I’m a retired Air Force Surgeon and I use humor as a primary defense against the bouts of depression that still knock me down for a few months out of the year. This blog (and the “outrageous” adventures I force myself to participate in) are a means of redefining myself. No longer Dr or Major or the guy with crippling depression (etc), I’m dedicated to living a Furiously Happy life. (Furiously Happy term coined by an amazing woman and virtual friend Jenny Lawson)

        It’s really great that we’ve connected. And looking forward to playing along with your community as well

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thrilled to have connected with you as well – many thanks to Tom and Audrey for posting your gorgeous rendering of one of their photos.

          I have been, shall I say “inspired” by life, to reinvent myself a few times over the years, and am facing yet another round of it as I grow older. That self-identity piece is no small matter.

          And NOW, even your “USA” identity has been shed – at least for now (not such a bad thing, given what’s going on politically in America right now, IMHO – I’d be sorely tempted to join you in Rumania if I could afford the move). If there is a post on your site sharing what sourced the move, please leave us all a link.

          My own peripatetic life has left me with practically no one I know who is aware of the complete story of “who I am.” Odd how we humans tend to assume what we see is all there IS to see, huh?

          The reality is that we are ALL multi-faceted, and most people are fascinating as we get to know more about them. I find that especially true in the blogging community, which is why I love engaging in the comments. Thanks for taking moments from your life to share more information about YOU!
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Christy B says:

    Hi Madelyn, thanks again for inclusion in your comprehensive article here. I like seeing that you provide such quality posts to help people with their health as it’s great to have a go-to resource like this one ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Appreciate your comment, Christy, and you are most welcome (and deserving, btw).
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I didn’t have any of the symptoms except for maybe a little transient depression here and there…or at least, that’s what I thought. My sleep deficit is impacting me in other ways, though–my brain is the equivalent of 65 years old (!) says the brain app I use 😳😱

    Thank you so much for bringing this information to light; I would’ve had no idea that I was being affected, because I don’t show any of the other symptoms like hypertension, diabetes, drowsiness, poor driving, etc (if anything I’m hyper-vigilant lol). But just because my symptoms are different doesn’t mean you’re not right, and I should really take this info to heart (which I am) 😊❤️👏🏼👏🏼💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting to read this feedback from you, Laina, since you are such an excellent self-observer.

      The researchers reported that none of the sleep-deprived participants thought they were impaired in any way either – other than being sleepy! Some were even unaware of microsleeps – even tho’ scans showed them.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • I definitely wouldn’t doubt that 😊. I reckon micro-sleeps are A Thing for me 💓. I don’t feel sleepy (but then, who knows, because sometimes I don’t even realize I’m hungry until I’m suddenly on a rampage for food lol) 💜. My body didn’t exactly read the physiology textbooks lol 😉

        I’m so glad you’re illuminating this information, because you’re teaching me so much about myself that I might never have otherwise known! You’ve truly changed my life, and that’s not an everyday experience for me 😊. Thank you so much for doing what you do and sharing what you share! Your work is *excellent* 😊💜

        Liked by 1 person

        • WOW, Laina – this comment makes the hours of research and editing seem like a worthwhile life pursuit – especially since I know you pass it on. Thank you.

          btw- that hunger thing? I’ve often joked that my signal for hunger is fainting. lol
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh yes, your pursuit is very worthwhile, and so very much appreciated! You’re opening up my eyes and showing me new things I never would have imagined 😊. And oh yeah, I pass it on! 😁. My patients get a link to your website 💞

            Liked by 1 person

            • I did a little “fist pump” and happy dance when I read that you are sharing my blog with your patients. I am so honored.
              xx,
              mgh

              Like

  10. paulandruss says:

    A very Informative post Madelyn with a lot of information in easily understood chucks. The nice chatty style helped me not feel overwhelmed so the information seemed to go in easily and stayed in! Really was more like a helpful chat with a friend than a technical article

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a wonderful comment – you described EXACTLY what I try to do when I write these science-heavy posts. Thank you so very much. I’m grinning from ear to ear.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • paulandruss says:

        That is a well deserved grin Madelyn because you write them really well. Pxx

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kisses, kisses, kisses!
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  11. dgkaye says:

    Such a great and important post Madelyn. I’d have to think there are many of us not getting our 7-9, definitely I’m one of them. It’s always how I’ve been, not a big requirer of sleep, lol. 7 hours is an occasional luxury, usually it’s 5-6. Surprisingly,. I’m still fully functional, lol. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Debby. I have to agree that you may well be one of those people who needs far less sleep than the norm. It seem obvious to me that, from here anyway, you seem to be MORE than fully functional. 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye says:

        Lollllllllllllll. You’re so funny! But thanks. 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • You’re welcome.
          xx, mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Chuck says:

    Hi Madelyn,
    Very worthwhile post, especially for people like myself that have chronic problems with depression. I have no idea if it had anything to do with it, but when I went through my chemo therapy three years ago, I developed problems staying asleep. Prior to that, I had no problems unless I was having an episode with anxiety. After my chemo was over and the problem continued, my doctor said just continue to use the sleeping pills he prescribed. Now my routine is falling asleep easily, waking two – three hours later, taking a pill and sleeping the remainder of the night. It probably isn’t the best solution, but it works for me. The only variation is nights where anxiety is in control. I know these night will be sleepless unless the problem behind the anxiety is resolved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am unaware of any studies linking chemo with long-term sleep struggles, but this is not nearly the first time I’ve heard it anecdotally. If you’re tethered to pills, ask your doctor for one of the newer ones that have a coating to kick in a few hours later, helping you avoid the wake-up to take a pill part.

      Whatever – the great news is that you are still here!!!!

      I empathize with the anxiety-awake nights. They are truly miserable! I fall asleep best with conversation in another room (like when I was a kid and could hear my parents) so I rack up science podcasts I’ve already heard to keep my brain busy sort-of “eavesdropping,” even tho’ I live alone.

      Once asleep, however, ONLY my bladder awakens me, and I practically sleep-walk there and back. I’d say I sleep straight through but my “sleep-walking self” frequently forgets to flush. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, Chuck.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

      • Chuck says:

        One of the things I love about what I call the WordPress Literary Family, is you meet beautiful & caring people like you. You always reply with knowledge and support. Even when I scr** up your name. 🙂

        I reading Matt Haig’s book “Reasons to Stay Alive” I’m finding it intimidating and at the same time informative. I’ve suffered with depression most of my life, yet only once would I say I became psychotic. I was hospitalized one time when I experienced traumatic amnesia. I’m not positive that is the correct terminology. With some good therapist, I’ve always been able to keep my depression in check. Currently, I fight more anxiety than depression. Perhaps that comes with age. For me, what is the most important, I’m happy with myself.

        If I wake up with a little anxiety and take a pill to sleep, so be it. BTW, the medication I do take is time released, yet it only last about four hours for me. Thanks again for your comforting support. HUGS.

        Liked by 2 people

        • You are a hoot, Chuck! I had so completely forgotten the name oops that it took me a couple of beats to recall what you were talking about. 🙂 Your kind words are much appreciated, however. I, too, love what you call ‘the WordPress Literary Family.’ It’s the most supportive community I’ve found online. Virtual friendships.

          Congrats on keeping your depression in check – I’m not sure you realize how many people are unable to do that. MAJOR accomplishment. And depression often seems to increase with age, not the other way around, btw. So you well deserve to be pleased with yourself.

          I am struck most by your self-acceptance, actually – which does seem to improve with age in many of us. Do you think we just get tired of fighting with what’s so after a few decades of same? Whatever, I am quite happy to have left the neurotic self-involvement of my teen angst years in the dust.

          I’m sorry your timed-release sleep medication doesn’t last longer for you – but glad to read it does help, however you must take it to manage sleep. The more I research the more I am stunned by what an important role in health & cognition that sleep actually plays. I will never be one to demonize pharmaceutical assistance when getting enough quality sleep is at issue.

          Is your anxiety free-floating, or have you noticed specific triggers?

          For example, I have finally learned to ask myself what I’m avoiding when I get those anxious twinges, quite often the moment I lie down and try to sleep. Frequently it’s something as simple as a reminder to make a vet appt. for my puppy’s vaccinations – or to pay BOTH the internet and electric bills (or to check my datebook for an upcoming event – or one that just passed because I failed to do so) 🙂

          Other times it’s more like something I’m actively avoiding, but often it’s simply something I’ve dropped out. But then, I don’t suffer from anxiety disorder so anyone who does may not note so direct a link. What works for you?
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, I think I need more sleep! Thanks, Madelyn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you fall asleep very shortly after your head hits the pillow you definitely do – for most people, that’s the litmus test for sleep debt (so say a few of my favorite sleep gurus).
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Some nights I can get to sleep quickly, but others – it take a while to convince my brain to be quiet.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Unless I am quite ill – when I sleep ’round the clock – my brain just loves to chat at me. How do you convince your brain to stop that?
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t think I’ve ever slept ’round the clock, Madelyn. I can’t sleep in long before my back starts talkin to me – aches do much I can’t sleep.

            Liked by 1 person

            • How perfectly awful for you. I am so sorry. I suppose if it is life-long you’ve already tried anything I’d suggest (motor adjustable split bed, 3mg melatonin 2 hrs. before bedtime, blue blocker glasses, etc)

              What does your doctor say? How is your health otherwise?
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • No, I haven’t tried any of those things. My health is lousy – most of the symptoms in your article describe me to a T. I take a great chemical cocktail for the diabetes + insulin – so I’m not anxious to take anything else. Normally, I can get to sleep quickly. But staying asleep for the night doesn’t happen – maybe once or twice a year.

              Liked by 1 person

          • I’m not very good at getting the brain to be still – especially when I’m upset about something. Most times I resign myself to not sleeping and just try to rest. Other times, if I’m very agitated, I’ll get up and read for a while – that helps me.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Are you aware that a great deal of what we consider “just resting” is actually Stage-I sleep? And reading is a good way to nudge the brain toward REM sleep – as long as the light is not one of those “conserve energy” or LED bulbs, which are actually alerting blue-spectrum light.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  14. Reblogged this on Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti and commented:
    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC has provided us with a valuable and informative post about the critical importance of sleep in our daily living. Be sure to view the video at the end of this post. Please, read on…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just found this “unsent” comment (???) – thanking you for spreading the word.

      I’m so glad you mentioned the video – it’s one of the best “expert” vids insofar as it shares a lot of information in a relatively brief talk that’s also entertaining.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re welcome, Madelyn – it is an important topic that needs to be shared.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Do you know that the first time ANYONE tried to actually research sleep was in the early 50’s – and it was only in the 80’s (thirty years of ‘father of sleep science’ Dement ringing that bell – fighting an uphill battle his entire career) before it was actually taken seriously?

          Thank goodness that is finally beginning to turn around!
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  15. -Eugenia says:

    Another informative and useful post, Madelyn. I do pretty well getting enough sleep. If I can’t sleep, I listen to music.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Eugenia. I rack up podcasts in iTunes – usually science based. It keeps my busy brain focused just the right amount so I don’t worry myself awake the moment I lie down (lol). Once asleep, I tend to be an 8-hour girl.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m always trying to bank sleep. I know my Shrink tells me all the time it’s fruitless but it’s fun trying. I love that concussed brains are made to stay awake when your brain just wants to hit the snooze button to recover………ironically. Yes. Cheers,H

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it IS ironic – I think they are afraid you won’t wake up?

      As for banking sleep, no science to back me up here, but I DO think that we survive stress and a few late nights better if we have a backlog of sleep and start out very well rested. I know I do anyway.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  17. colinandray says:

    Great TED Talk link. Thx Madelyn. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m always thrilled when somebody tells me that they actually clicked through and watched (and I try not to post videos often).

      Thanks so much for letting me know you enjoyed it, Collin.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

      • colinandray says:

        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Wow we did not realize the numbers and such depth to this topic. I believe it is real and when we are young we joke about “I’ll sleep when I get to heaven”. Sleep and rest are vanishing needs today. Great work Madelyn.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah – I used to say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” HOWEVER, lack of quality sleep is likely to hasten that particular state considerably! 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 3 people

      • Amen to this. Slowing the pace is vital to longevity, lol.

        Liked by 2 people

        • So they say. I’m inclined to believe them, but my brain doesn’t always want to cooperate and leave me alone to fall asleep! 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 2 people

          • LOL. We know what you mean. The brain wants to keep on going.

            Liked by 2 people

            • And mine usually gets its own way unless I can distract it – lol.
              xx, mgh

              Liked by 2 people

            • We sure can relate. Its amazing the rabbit trails we go down, lol.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Amazing and amusing – mostly in retrospect, of course.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • For sure.

              Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank goodness, I never have problems sleeping and neither do my boys. Mr Fox is another story entirely. I am going to pass this on to some of my colleagues who do struggle with sleeping. Super article.

    Like

    • Thank heaven for small favors, yes? Sleep struggles make everything else worse. I empathize with your husband – and your colleagues. If they are interested, there’s a whole Series here about how sleep works and what’s going on when it doesn’t. The link below explains how the wrong kind of light at the wrong time can keep you from sleeping (especially artificial light). Many people don’t know this and sometimes simply changing their light exposure makes ALL the difference.

      Sleep Timing Disorders & More Laws of Photobiology
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  20. ksbeth says:

    what a helpful and informative post –

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for saying so. LOVE the name of your blog, btw. 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  21. joliesattic says:

    I worry because I want to sleep all the time. I don’t think I’m depressed, but I’ve got so much to do and I get so sleepy and groggy, I have a hard time following through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve had periods when I had a difficult time remaining alert and awake as well — usually due to my chronorhythms being *completely* out of sync. I commiserate — it’s hateful!

      If you’ve spent most of your life forced to accommodate sleep/wake rhythms that aren’t really your own, this could be your body’s way of letting you know.

      A number of other things could be behind it as well, including sleep apnea keeping you from getting good sleep at night, leading to chronic sleep debt. Medications, inadequate nutrition, even allergies can cause problems with effective sleeping leaving you on the verge of drifting off all day.

      Isolation can have that effect as well (many work-at-home “workaholic” entrepreneurs have reported similar). Start tracking to see if it seems to get worse when you haven’t been social.

      Not so common in warmer weather, but if you sleep with your head under the covers you are eventually “re-breathing” some of what is normally exhaled into the air, so your brain is receiving a diminished amount of oxygen — similar effect to apnea.

      Have you spoken to your doctor about it? You may need a referral to a sleep lab.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • joliesattic says:

        I’ve not talked to a doctor. I’m not on any meds except those for my recent eye surgery but I’ll be done with those this week. I don’t sleep under the covers, but I do have overcrowding of pets. I’ve been trying to ween them of coming up on the bed. It tires me out. I have noticed that lately I’ve been sleeping on my tummy, which was something I did when I was young and got out of the habit with my pregnancies. Why I’m doing it now, I don’t know. I know I have periods of sleep apnea that I’m aware of, whether it is constant, I don’t know. I also get up several times to use the bathroom, something I’ve dealt with my whole life. So there you h ave it. One of those may be the culprit, I suppose.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am unaware of any science on tummy sleeping (except for its link to an increased risk of SIDS – but nothing on adults). I read a theory that we feel safer when our “fronts” are cradled in that manner, and that it might be an attempt to manage anxiety – but I never heard anything more about follow-up research.

          Sleep apnea tends to present most with back sleeping, unless of course you must because you use a C-PAP. Maybe you breath easier when you are on your stomach?

          Good luck with the dogs – lol – I have always slept with mine, so I am NO help there. Its not advised, but I think those opinions come from folks who don’t have dogs. 🙂

          Since sleep-debt has SO many deleterious effects throughout the brain and body it might be worth keeping some kind of record to see if you can figure out what helps and what makes it harder to fall/stay asleep. Next time you go to the doctor, be sure to bring it up.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • joliesattic says:

            Oh, I like your suggestion to log. I don’t usually, in fact rarely sleep on my back that I know of, though I did notice doing that as well a couple of times recently, so again I have no clue what that’s about. I told hubby we needed a bigger bed. LOL

            Liked by 1 person

            • No joke about the bed – especially if you are sharing with puppies too. I’ve never liked King beds, but they are touted as best for couples.

              I tend to be a side sleeper but, oddly, the very few times I’ve felt so tired I needed a mid-day nap I usually fall asleep and wake up on my back about an hour later.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • joliesattic says:

              Me too!

              Liked by 1 person

  22. Lucy Brazier says:

    Sleep deprivation is pure torture! I feel very lucky to be a good sleeper; having worked shifts in the past I can usually adjust to sleeping and waking at random times and therefore fit in my sleep around my life. On the rare occasions I can’t sleep (once for three nights in a row! Aargh!) I find it the most unbearable thing. This is probably a contributing factor to my failure to reproduce – the prospect of lost sleep is terrifying!
    xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • lol – Lucy, you get the prize for most original reason for not having kids!!

      3 days is seriously sleep deprived – they do studies on extreme sleep deprivation by keeping volunteers awake for 3 days.

      It IS unbearable at the time, but what is really crazy is that as soon as the volunteers got some sleep they all thought they were fine. NOT according to the reaction time & cognition tests! Apparently sleep deprivation messes with our self-observation meter somehow and decimates our judgment (almost as much as alcohol).

      Its amazing to me that you can still adjust to various schedules – you ARE a lucky sleeper.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lucy Brazier says:

        Luckily, that was a one-off – and was related to shift working and other influences. I have to say, I was frightened to drive as I felt barely in control of my own body, let alone a vehicle!
        I had a couple of wonderful naps this weekend. The weather was just too hot for me, so I took to getting up very early in the morning, working for a few hours until the heat got too bad, sleeping for a few hours, then getting up and working again in the late afternoon onwards. I am very lucky indeed and very grateful for it!
        xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • It rained most of tonight, which cooled off everything amazingly well. I’m so late coming home because I was waiting for the rain to stop — walking home and didn’t want to get drenched was my excuse to party on.

          It has been too hot to sleep for a day or two here – and the dreaded summer has barely begun. 😦 Wish I could adjust to YOUR system! Sounds perfect.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lucy Brazier says:

            I love your partying-on excuse! Not that a party ever needs an excuse, but… it’s can’t hurt!
            We are due a week long heatwave (which isn’t too hideous in the UK, it’s just that we are unused to it) with scant air conditioning (none in private residences!) so I had better hope my sleep system holds up!
            xx

            Liked by 1 person

            • I am limping along with a window unit in my office – which doesn’t cool the LR or bedroom much at all, but I had to choose to put it where I spend most of my day and into the night (where I expect myself to be able to think). The wiring won’t permit more – pre-war apt. (which I otherwise prefer, but the electrics and the plumbing could use some serious work).

              Crossing my fingers for you and your system.
              xx,
              mgh
              PS. Edited and posted my review of KEYS on your “opening day” on Amazon — with a link to the next book “just out” – which I will be sending to my Kindle just as soon as I make sure that I can access the free ones I used to test the system.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Lucy Brazier says:

              I think what we both need are lovely servants to bring us iced drinks and fan us with giant leaves 🙂
              Great news about the review – thank you so much! I hope the next one lands in your kindle happily. Thank you!!
              xx

              Liked by 1 person

            • My pleasure. More of same bound to come (eventually – lol) 😉

              Funny you should mention having what Mae West referred to as “boys” – a friend and I were requesting same only tonight. She added peeled grapes to her list – I simply wanted them to port me around on one of those litters (or whatever they are called) and fan me all summer long, when I’m to hot to move far under my own steam (pun intended).
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Lucy Brazier says:

              That would suit me perfectly, I can skip the peeled grapes – wouldn’t want to come across as a diva! 😉
              xx

              Liked by 1 person

            • My thinking exactly!
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  23. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Thanks to Madelyn Griffith-Haynie with a comprehensive look at sleep and the latest research on how much we actually need and how quickly we can build up a deficit. #recommended

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are such a wonderful supporter of these mental health posts, Sally. Thanks again for helping to spread the word.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

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